jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like October 15, 2011 - 9:57am

Is it even worth mentioning?  

I have to breathe in order to live.  It is part of the experience of being a human being. 

So is subjectivity.  Pointing out that something is subjective in the middle of a discussion is comparable to reminding everybody that they are indeed having a discussion.

Then again, people write about breathing.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin October 15, 2011 - 11:29am

It depends on the nature of the discussion.

I guess... whether or not it appropriate to use subjectivity as an argument... is subjective.

I assume this is not the answer you were looking for. But your question is a paradox to me.

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading October 15, 2011 - 11:30am

Like that one time I blogged about this, and then posted it in this very discussion, so I wouldn't have to type it out again:

Yes — it is just your opinion. There was no risk of any confusion.
Before you said, “This is just my opinion,” there was nobody in the room wondering whether what you were saying was the Truth as spoken by God, or just your opinion.
You will not fool anyone into thinking you’re humble by saying that it’s just your opinion.
You cannot deflect an attack on your opinion simply because it is an opinion.
Because it’s your opinion, and you are voicing it, you are, in effect, inviting us to form an opinion of your opinion. Toughen up.
When someone attacks your opinion, you don’t help your case by raising your voice and saying, “It’s just my opinion!” You don’t help your case by being shocked. You also don’t help anyone feel sorry for you by pretending that you are being attacked.
You are entitled to an opinion. You aren’t entitled to immunity from criticism.

In other words: Word. Agreed.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin October 15, 2011 - 11:36am

But that is only one context in which subectivity can be invoked, there are obviously situations in which it is not an appropriate line of argument. But your example only illustrates a small percentage of the inappropriate uses, it is much to narrowsighted to make any comprehensive judgement about the validity of subjectivity as a line of argument.

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading October 15, 2011 - 12:06pm

So what? I'm not aiming to make a "comprehensive judgement." Which is why the examples I chose are the examples I chose. That's when it's annoying — when subjectivity is summoned up as if by magic to protest against criticism.

Plus, what do we mean by "subjectivity"? Sure, each of us must experience the world in a certain way to which  no other has direct access. And sure, that means nobody can claim to have seen it all from an "objective" perspective, whatever that would mean. But precisely for that reason, it's a completely stupid and, more importantly, cowardly rhetorical manoeuver to remind everyone that, for instance, "we are each entitled to an opinion."

simon morris's picture
simon morris from Originally, Philadelphia, PA; presently Miami Beach, FL is reading This Body of Death, by Elizabeth George October 15, 2011 - 12:32pm

Even computers are subjective. They were, after all, programmed by humans...or at least avatars claiming to be human!  Even objectivity is subjective. It depends on who is defining it, identifying it and employing it.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin October 15, 2011 - 12:52pm

I understand that you feel that way verry strongly and decline to contest the point.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words October 15, 2011 - 12:58pm

how is opinion different from belief? or is it even?

I believe all people are crazy. My opinion is that all people are crazy. All people are crazy.

Different ways of saying the same thing, I suspect. The difference is more in the diplomacy of the statement. If you start with "It's just my opinion that" it comes across as less assertive than getting to the heart of the matter.

As for subjectivity-objectivity, I think of it in terms of bias. If you are objective, you try to set aside your bias, when subjective, let it all hang out.

the functional difference is that the "objective" way of looking at things is looking at what we have in common that can be measured - ie objects - we can agree that an exemplary object weighs 1 kilogram, is 1 decimeter cubed and occupies a volume of 1 litre - our subjective opinion about the object is a whole other matter, and keeps the conversation going.

that and alcohol.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 15, 2011 - 1:08pm

i dont understand the question, i guess...

so im going to answer all of them that i think you're asking

- why do people write about breathing? this could happen for two reasons, the most annoying being that they're fucking morons, who in very tolkien'esque fashion want to leave *nothing* up to their reader. these are the people who describe everything in mind-numbing detail. my english 300 professor would have called them "realists" i would just call them dumbfucks.

OR they are pointing out a change in something mundane. clevenger will tell you a story is that thing that happens when your routine gets fucked up. ie, i was crossing the street (routine) and a car hit me (story). without the car hitting you, there is no reason to mention crossing the street. similarly, you wouldnt mention the rhythm of your breathing unless something about it is special. like, maybe you just had an earth-shattering orgasm, or there's a smith&wesson .44 revolver pointed at your temple.

- why do people qualify things as their opinion? i dont know, i do it because im generally talking about truly subjective shit, like writing. especially on here, and i dont really need or desire people to take my word as gospel. i am just sharing my point of view with them, and as i have learned from other forums, if you dont say something is your opinion, people think you think you're stevenfuckinghawkings and they cant wait to feed you some crow.

ON THE OTHER HAND in academic settings you should never qualify your statement as an opinion, because it is a given that it is. your reading of lets say kafka, is your opinion. all you're doing is using the facts you find in the text, and the general line of thinking about that text to prove your opinion valid to your reader.

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading October 15, 2011 - 1:54pm

@ nkwilczy

I assume you're joking. If you aren't, well, Christ.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 4, 2012 - 8:24am

Because of the Judging on Style thread, I'm bumping this junk.  Fylh's first comment is especially appropriate.

You can't review a story objectively unless you're only grading grammar, spelling, etc.  Anything else will be a subjective evaluation (because there is no ideal version of that story which you may compare it to, no objective standard, only your own sense and experience.) 

People have opinions -- that doesn't mean "all art is subjective." 

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin April 4, 2012 - 8:53am

I am one passive agressive asshole sometimes.

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 4, 2012 - 8:56am

I have strong opinions about various things myself. 

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 4, 2012 - 9:31am

I am 6 of 9. Objectivity is futile.

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 4, 2012 - 9:32am

haha, I always knew you were a Borg. Can you introduce me to 7?

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 4, 2012 - 9:34am

That's what everyone asks. I can let you borrow her porn. But it requires you to open ports you can only dream of.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 4, 2012 - 9:38am

The Borg love objectivity. 

She is an imposter. 

Assimilate her.

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 4, 2012 - 9:40am

The drone does have a point......

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 4, 2012 - 9:44am

Also, this. 

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 4, 2012 - 9:46am

The drone

I resent that.

does have a point

I agree.

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 4, 2012 - 9:51am

Resentment is irrelevant, ergo you're not a drone and must be assimilated. Resistance is futile. You will adept to service us. 

 

Great, now I have a headache. 

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 4, 2012 - 9:56am

You will adept to service us.

The Borg do not make typos.  You will be assimilated.  Resistance is futile.

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 4, 2012 - 9:58am

LOL- I didn't think you would notice, then I got bored and didn't feel like changing it. 

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 4, 2012 - 11:39am

Writing Borgs are of a different breed. I am 6 of 9. Objectivity is futile. Show me your boobs. Prepare to assimilate.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. April 4, 2012 - 11:44am

JY--your new pic is very zoolander

Stacy Kear's picture
Stacy Kear from Bucyrus, Ohio lives in New Jersey is reading The Art of War April 4, 2012 - 1:21pm

The only time I throw the 'it's subjective card' is when the idiot I am talking to refuses to comprehend that his opinion on a matter wasn't handed down by God. At this point its an argument I don't want to be in and the 'card' is ~ please shut up you closed minded, ignorant, arrogant asshole. I am politely shutting down the conversation, are there other ways? Sure. I try to stay away from ignorant, arrogant assholes so I don't use the 'card' much.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 4, 2012 - 2:12pm

JY--your new pic is very zoolander

I call it "Lukewarm Lead"

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 5, 2012 - 4:12am

I call that textual harassment. 

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 5, 2012 - 9:27am

Redacted. Move on to the sex talk.

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner April 5, 2012 - 8:32am

Better? 

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 5, 2012 - 8:40am

Indirectly being a pervert isn't my style.  Subtlety is just a waste of time.  I'm more of a 'take off your pants or get out' kind of pervert.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry April 5, 2012 - 9:03am

*takes off pants*

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters April 5, 2012 - 9:08am

*gets out*

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 5, 2012 - 9:31am

Move on to the sex talk.

Y'know, I wouldn't mind having sex with someone before too long.  That might be cool.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 5, 2012 - 9:38am

Take your pants off, J.Y.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 5, 2012 - 11:12am

What pants?

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 5, 2012 - 11:55am

Sorry.  Hike up that skirt.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 5, 2012 - 12:20pm

Kilt, thank you very much.